In Seminary I remember a class where we discussed the “Tripartation of Mankind” or “Man the Triune Being” . It simply means that there are three distinct parts of mankind; body, soul, and spirit. I think it is comforting to know that the body or shell of man may die but the person lives on. The “living on” is eternal life with God or Eternal life in torment separated from God.
“May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23
The Spirit should mature but because it is eternal it never ages. A few good writers and preachers talk about triune mankind in various ways. One preacher talked about mankind having invisible gauges similar to car gauges. These invisible gauges monitor the body, soul, and spirit and although they are invisible we would do well to pay attention to them. We know when we are getting too hot under the collar; When we have not gotten enough rest; when our fuel tank is depleted; and we better replenish ourselves. If we do not replenish the ramifications can be huge. Another pastor talked about the tiredness of the triune body. The tiredness of the physical body can be replenished with rest and nourishment. The tiredness of the spirit can be replenished with spiritual disciplines like prayer, worship, fasting, having times of solitude with God, etc. Our soul gets tired when it is constantly fighting the battle between our spirit and our flesh. To replenish the soul we need to feed it through good thoughts, good books, good experiences, etc. The world or flesh can feed the soul too but it leads to chaos, dependency, addiction, etc. The battle between the spirit and the flesh takes place in the psyche or mind. Another preacher describes the triune being of mankind as awareness or consciousness. The flesh or body is world conscious, the soul is self conscious, and the spirit is God conscious. All of these views are very interesting and have their merit. I often talk about the triune being as being a big bucket that can filled. What we decide to fill our life (bucket) with is of eternal importance. Our bucket has holes in it too. In other words, there are things that drain our bucket (life). Like being around very draining people,being involved in constant crisis not getting enough rest not spending time with God, all these things can drain us. It is of eternal significance that we know what fills us and that we know what drains us. When we become drained many things can happen. We can lose control of ourselves and act poorly. We can become irate. Or, we can spiral very quickly into a deep depression. Depressed people seem to be everywhere. All of us are going through something that will drain us and we could fall into a depression very quickly. Let me talk about how this happens even in great men and women of God.
1. As a Pastor, I struggle with the response of people to the Truth and the Word of God. I think 1 Kings 18:21 is a fitting verse to describe what I am talking about. Much energy seems to be dispensed when the people are not with you. Why are people silent about their faith; about God; and about Spiritual & significant things?
21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. 1 Kings 18:21
2. Many times leaders feel all alone and this can be draining too. Good leaders work hard to train others to come along side and help in the Ministry but there are many times when the leader feels all alone.
22 Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the LORD’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets”. 1 Kings 18:22
3. Every time there is a huge event at the church the Pastor or another great leader of the church usually leads the charge. The facts are clear that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. For whatever reason that seems to be true. Along with 20% of the people do 80% of the giving, and 20% of the people invite 80% of the visitors. If that is not bad enough, 20% of the people demand 80% of the leader’s time. Projects and work, and demands are very draining. Seems like everything significant on Mount Carmel, Elijah was doing. He seems to be draining in the process.
23 Get two bulls for us. Let Baal’s prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24 Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire—he is God.” Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” 1 Kings 18:23-24
4. In the story of Elijah, from 1 Kings 18, Elijah had to be exhausted. When he exercised his faith great things happened. Fire fell from heaven (that’s God’s part). We see Elijah did his part, he exercised his faith. When you have been mightily used by God the result can be exhaustion. In an exhausted state we do not respond well and I believe spiritual darkness attacks. Elijah ran for his life when he was threatened.
2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 1 Kings 19:2
5. We do not respond well when we have done our best in exercising our faith and without spiritual nourishment begin to get attacked with the fiery darts of the wicked on. We often want to throw in the towel or worst case scenario we just want to die. Elijah ends up under a broom bush wanting to quit and asking God to take his life.
4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush,sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,”he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5 Then he lay downunder the bush and fell asleep.1 Kings 19:4-5
There are steps to recovery when the nourishment is depleted and you are ready to quit. Obviously Elijah was there under the broom bush and his desire was to die. I do not know what or where your broom bush is but most Christians can relate to Elijah because they have been there. Elijah was beginning to get the rest he needed under the broom bush. Then Some things happened that I think will happen to you as a Christian, when you become depressed.
1. Look for God’s Ministering agent to show up. It could be an Angel, it could be a brother or sister in Christ,or it could be the Word of God. You need to expect and look for a ministering agent coming your way and remember God is sending them.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 1 Kings 19:4
2. Listen to the ministering agent. If Elijah did not let the Angel minister to him he might have died under that broom bush Insted he ate and drank.
6 He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water.He ate and drank and then lay down again. 1 Kings 19:5-6
3. It is interesting how the angel came back the 2nd time and told Elijah that God had something more for him to do. Friends, God is not finished with you yet either. If you have breath there is purpose for you being here. Embrace that purpose. Regain your strength and get going!
The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”1 Kings 19:7
Life is valuable so live it to the full. Our limitless God sees fit to use very limited people to advance His Kingdom. The hour is now for you to step up and do your part. It will be an awesome life if you remember that we are in a battle. There are times when the battle is so tough that we get exhausted in our body, soul and or spirit. We become drained and when that happens we often become depressed. Look for that ministering agent. Allow them to minister to you as you get the nourishment you need. Finally once you are nourished pay attention to the gauges, your tiredness and your focus. Check your bucket often and keep it filled. May God bless you on your Journey.
I am Dr. Bill Fix, the Senior Pastor if Journey of Hope Community Church, in Taylor, Michigan. May you find today the love, peace, hope, grace, mercy and faith of God.
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Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Thanks!